Support to Combating Illicit Arms Trafficking in Kosovo* for Criminal Police (CPIAT)

Implementing period: February 2020 - June 2022

Budget: US$660,000

The objective of the project “Support to Combating Illicit Arms Trafficking in Kosovo for Criminal Police (CPIAT)” was to support the Kosovo Police in strengthening their capacities to better detect and increasingly confiscate firearms, components and ammunition, and improve the quality of investigations. The emphasis was placed on investigations against organized crime and criminal groups dealing with international arms trafficking using Kosovo as a transit route for illicit arms trafficking into the Western European countries. The project was implemented in line with the Small Arms Light Weapons and Explosives control strategy and action plan, as well as the Countering Organized Crime strategy, Intelligence Led Policing strategy and Community Policing Strategy and Action Plan.

The project was based on the organizational model People-Processes-Technology and increased the human and technical capacities including standardizing processes through reviewing and updating SOPs. The SOPs and regulatory framework will contribute to successfully implement the requirements of the UN Firearms Protocol and UN Palermo Convention, the European and SEE Action to combat Illicit Arms Trafficking.

The project included activities addressing first responders, police officers or border patrol officers, development of risk assessment and targeted operations including victim assistance. The project aimed at the following specific results: 1) Higher detection rates during traffic controls and house searches; 2) Increased number of leads during special investigative measures; 3) Higher seizure of weapons; 4) Increased public safety.

Overall achievements:

  • The project enhanced capacities of the Kosovo Police to detect and confiscate firearms, their components and ammunition, as well as improved the quality of FAE-related investigations, through the following accomplishments:
    • Gap analysis report on explosives investigations was successfully completed. The report identified the needs of all entities involved in the investigation of explosives, hand grenades, precursors, and category 4 pyrotechnics, in terms of required procedures, equipment, and human resources. The analysis also provided recommendations for improving the coordination and cooperation between all entities.
    • 201 police officers were trained on basic firearms investigations (177 men and 24 women), representing patrolling officers, community policing officers, traffic police, and investigators at the local level from 8 Regional Police Directorates, thus enhancing their knowledge on various types of firearms, converted firearms, blank firing weapons, potential trafficking routes of SALW, legal framework on SALW including international standards and practices, as well as the local and international cooperation through the Firearms Focal Point/International Law Enforcement Cooperation Unit (ILECU).
    • 30 police investigators (26 men and 4 women) from central level investigations and all 8 Regional Police Directorates undertook advanced training on firearms investigations. The investigators enhanced capacities in the use of special investigative measures in the field of IAT and cooperation with law enforcement units locally and internationally in effective investigations of smuggling of firearms, ammunition, explosives, drugs, immigrants, as well as on counterterrorism matters.
    • 40 members of police special units (all men) passed through two (2) five-day training sessions, improving their skills on firearms detections during house searches through theoretical and practical exercises, enhancing knowledge on legal and professional standards, general SOP, documenting at house searches, and presenting at court and to the media.
    • Police investigators were provided with equipment to support investigations. Eighty (80) computers with monitors and docking stations, forty (40) multifunctional printers and forty (40) toners, five (5) tablets and seventeen (17) laptops were procured and donated to the regional level police investigators, contributing to enhanced investigations in line with the intelligence led policing process, preparation of intelligence reports and products which will contribute to further increase the productivity and quality of police investigations on illicit arms trafficking and SALW control.
    • Kosovo Police investigation department was equipped with specialized equipment consisting of one (1) MALTEGO Software (XL Annual License) with one (1) desktop, one (1) server and one (1) training on using the license; one (1) dashboard/tableau visualization platform; two (2) explosive detectors; three (3) endoscopes; eight (8) thermal cameras and two (2) flying observation cameras. The project also ensured accompanying training for utilizing the new equipment.
    • Overall, through the project’s support to the human capacity development and enhancement of technological aspects of investigation branch, Kosovo Police planned and conducted a number of intelligence-led operations where firearms, converted firearms and ammunition were confiscated and the suspects prosecuted as per the applicable legislation.

      As reported by the Kosovo Police, the total number of confiscated firearms of various types during the project’s implementation amounted to 1,135 in 2020, 1,280 in 2021, and 1,473 in 2022.

The project contributed to Roadmap Goals 2, 3, 5 and key performance indicators 3, 4, 8, 10, 14 of the Roadmap for a sustainable solution to the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons and their ammunition in the Western Balkans.